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Mavin Records 6 years after, how has the journey been?

Founded by Don Jazzy, Mavin Records is in its sixth year and we look back at their journey thus far.

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play Don Jazzy's Mavin Records has in six years remained one of the most visible labels on the scene (Mavin Records)

Don Jazzy has made Mavin Records one of the leading record labels in the country and six years down the line, the label is celebrating a period filled with success stories and uncertain times.

Following the dissolution of his former label, Mo Hits Record formed in partnership with D'banj, Don Jazzy founded Mavins Records, also known as the Supreme Mavin Dynasty on May 8 2012.

Pop music has undergone a continuous change in its sound and appeal in the country since the early 2000s and one of the major progenitors of this is Don Jazzy.

play Mavins celebrate sixth anniversary and they are grateful to their fans (MavinRecords)

 

For eight years (2004-2012), the prolific beat-maker alongside D'banj successfully drove Mo Hits to the pinnacle of the Nigerian music industry, so it was expected that he continues the success story with the revamped Mavin.

ALSO READ: Who is Don Jazzy's worst signing

Here is a breakdown of each phase of the label thus far

MAVIN 1.0

play Mavin released the album Solar Plexus same day it was officially announced (MavinRecords)

The label immediately became home to the likes of former Mo Hits members, Wande Coal, D Prince and Dr Sid with the addition of Tiwa Savage.

Wande Coal at this point was regarded as one of the finest vocalist in the country. Off the back of his 2009 debut studio album, Mushin to Mo'Hits, Wande earned himself a god-like status in the music industry.

Former Da Trybe member, Dr Sid has been around longer than any other artist on the label, as he became an affiliate of Don Jazzy upon his return to the country.

D' Prince is the younger brother to the Don and following the break-up of Mo Hits, it was only conceivable that he pitches his tent with family.

Tiwa Savage was the addition to the team and the first lady of the label. Tiwa had recently put out her single, 'Kele Kele love' and was gaining acceptance within the industry.

They also added producers, Altims and Baby Fresh to their ranks.

It was the near perfect line up consisting of vibrant and experienced acts and a first lady that was bubbling, Mavin was built to appeal to everyone.

Albums released under the label

play Tiwa Savage's 'Once upon a time' album released in 2013 is one of the most successful projects under the Mavin stable (MavinRecords)
 

In 2012, the label on its official day of unveiling, put out the collaborative project, Solar Plexus.

The 13 tracker album was their introductory body of work and even though it was received with mixed reactions, the project still birthed hit records like D'Prince's, Take Banana and Forever featuring Wande Coal.

After the joint effort came the individual projects with D'Prince leading the line with Frenzy in 2012, but it wasn't till Tiwa Savage released her debut studio effort, Once upon a Time in 2013, that the label got its first major success.

Tiwa's album paraded hit singles like, Olorun Mi, Eminado, Ife wa gbono and Wanted, earning her a nomination for Best RnB/Pop album at the 2014 Headies awards.

Other projects from the stable include, Siduction by Dr Sid, R.E.D and Sugarcane EP by Tiwa Savage.

Present Status

play D'Prince was one of the founding members of Mavin Record and has scored some measure of success six years down the line (Obi Somto/MavinRecords)

Don Jazzy, at the time of setting up the label delivered some of the finest masterpieces that the Nigerian industry could offer, especially with his last work with D'banj in Oliver Twist.

But today, the Don's position is no longer at the top of the food chain as younger producers have popped up and now lay claim to his throne.

Tiwa Savage, is clearly at the height of her career, the singer who recently picked up the Headies 2018, Best Collaboration award has a running publishing deal with Roc Nation, performed at the 2017 Made in America concert, and has won several awards to her name.

Wande Coal, no longer with the label.

Dr Sid, the singer recently put out a new single, titled Open and Close, but his career has been bedevilled with inconsistencies and has yet to sustain the heights that his debut album brought his way.

D'Prince also recently put out a new single and video, titled 'Gucci Gang', which features Davido and Don Jazzy, but ever since the buzz surrounding his debut album, Frenzy faded, very little has been heard from him as an artist.

MAVIN 2.0

play Mavin 2.0 commenced with the signing of Korede Bello, Reekado Banks and Di'ja (MavinRecords)
 

Following the exit of Wande Coal in 2013 and the need to restructure and expand the label, Mavin signed three new artists in Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Di'ja in 2014.

The trio of Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Di'ja were unknown elements at the point but with the release of Dorobucci on May 1, 2014. Don Jazzy introduced the world to a set of talented and entertaining acts.

Follow up collaborative singles, like Adaobi and Looku Looku further endeared them to their respective fans before they proceeded with their individual projects.

ALSO READ: Don Jazzy admits that Mavins struggled in its first year

Albums released under the label

play Korede Bello's ' Belloved' album released under Mavin Records had the monster single, 'Godwin'
 

Reekado Banks released his Spotlight album in 2016, while Korede Bello followed with his Belloved album in 2017.

Di'Ja released her Aphrodija EP in December 2017.

Present Status

play Mavin: Di'Ja has had to take a break from the music to cater for life as a mother (MavinRecords)
 

Reekado Banks, arguably stands above the lot in terms of presence, number of hit songs and consistency.

His recent single, Like featuring label mate Tiwa Savage remains one of the chart topping songs on Nigerian radio.

Korede Bello has struggled a bit to maintain the success that came with Godwin and Mr Romantic, but he remains active with recent singles like Melanin Popping and So Te, as he continues work on his sophomore effort.

Di'ja, the very talented singer enjoyed spells with singles like Awww and Air, but several breaks due to motherhood has limited her influence on the music scene.

MAVIN 3.0

play Poe was one of the surprise additions to the Mavin 3.0 squad (MavinRecords)

2017 saw the label go a bit out of its comfort zone, when it signed alternative artist, Johnny Drille, rapper LadiPoe and DNA twins.

The label also added established act, Iyanya to its rooster later on in the year, even though the partnership was brief.

Albums released under the label

play Iyanya's Signature EP was released in 2017 under the Mavin imprint (MavinRecords)

Iyanya's Signature released on the 28th March 2017 remains the sole project from the Mavin 3.0 era.

Present Status

play Mavin 3.0: Johnny Drille on the Headies red carpet (Pulse)

Iyanya, has announced his exit from the label.

Johnny Drille's Romeo and Juliet  became a mild hit, earning him a nomination in the Best Alternative Act category at the Headies 2018, where he also gave a stellar performance on the night.

Poe has released a number of singles with the label including, Man Already and Are you down as he continues work on his debut album rumored to be due later this year.

DNA Twins recently released a new single featuring DMW's Mayorkun titled Adanma.

High Moments

play Mavin has been home to some of the finest hits in contemporary times (MavinRecords)

Developing Talents - Reekado Banks and Korede Bello were discovered by the don, who gave them a chance on the big stage.

Illustrious discography - When it comes to having singles that influences the soundscape of Nigerian music in recent times, it doesn't really come bigger than Korede Bello's Godwin and the collaborative joint Dorobucci.

Tiwa Savage - Under the guidance of Mavin Records, the singer has been able to consolidate on not just the home front, but also internationally.

Successful concert - The Access Mavin Concert in 2015 in partnership with one of the leading banks was a sold out success.

Low Moments

play Mavin on the set of their hit single, Janta Manta (Youtube/Mavin)

In 2013, following a lengthy period of rumor and speculations, Mavin officially released a statement that one of its founding artist, Wande Coal had parted ways with the label due to what they termed ''Irreconcilable differences''.

Things soon got messy as Wande Coal and Don Jazzy took to social media to exchange words and throw accusations. Though both parties have now been reconciled.

Another controversy that came the way of the label, this time from an external force was at the Headies 2015.

Olamide and Don Jazzy got into a war of words on the Headies stage in 2015, following the awarding of the Next Rated act to Mavins, Reekado Banks ahead of YBNL's Lil Kesh. Mavin's Korede Bello was also nominated in the category.

This got the label in the news, as Don Jazzy declared that he had to protect his kids.

The Future

play Mavin acts on stage doing what they do best (MavinRecords)

While they have shown glimpses especially with the sustained presence of Reekado Banks, the label has somehow failed to get the best out of their artists with the inconsistencies of the likes of Korede Bello and Di'ja.

The signing of Johnny Drille, DNA Twins and Poe got observers excited about the label again, but the period of excitement has thinned out and it is time they put out more music and a definite body of work before the year runs out.

In an era where record labels have become endangered species, Mavin Records have evolved with the times, technology and demand of the audience, recognising that a label is no longer the be-all of the industry, but just a part-of.

In 6 years, Mavin Records has had a strong run. Right now the label needs to capitalize more on their strengths, and build on the talents at its disposal to pave a stronger and sustainable future as a model for other young labels.

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